Google's Tablet Home Page Ad Upsets Users

Aug 29, 2012 • 8:55 am | comments (26) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Other Google Topics

Google's Tablet Home Page AdOn Google's home page you will see one of the most obtrusive and in your face ads for a Google Tablet you've ever seen from Google on their home page. Google has never been this in your face with an ad on their home page before.

In fact, we've only really complained about text ads on Google's home page before, but they have done some image ads in the past. But nothing like this, nothing that pops up.

Here is a video of the "playground" ad in motion:

As Liz Gannes points out, in 2005, Google posted a blog post that said:

- There will be no banner ads on the Google homepage or web search results pages. There will not be crazy, flashy, graphical doodads flying and popping up all over the Google site. Ever.

The Googler, Marissa Mayer, who posted it, left Google a few weeks ago to lead Yahoo.

Google users are upset by it and more importantly, I think Google lost some of their credibility by placing such an in your face ad on their home page.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld & Google Web Search Help.

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Andy Sheridan

08/29/2012 01:07 pm

You must have forgotten that Google can do whatever the hell they like, whenever the hell they like. A rookie mistake.

feed up

08/29/2012 01:34 pm

it's their page why can't they do what they want with it? if you don't like it choose another home page or search engine. you also have a choice over what you do only not the world and everyone in it. that's what's wrong with the world today people trying to control everyone else.

Oleg Korneitchouk

08/29/2012 01:59 pm

Honestly.. don't think it's a big deal. They are trying to compete with the dominant iPad.. having a premo banner ad below the page's functionality doesn't take away from the search and does wonder's for exposure. Now if this was a pop-up, that'd be a different story.


08/29/2012 02:08 pm

Ok Mr. Barry Schwartz, I understand the need for you to keep your 'article' clock ticking, but writing something based on absolutely no truth makes you look like a pea sized desperate writer. Google can do whatever the f*** they want on their homepage and they don't stand to answer to anyone. The whole thing about them not putting up ads on their page was completely an obligation to the masses and they can revoke it anytime they want. (Read definition of 'Obligation'). No questions asked! Im an avid googler, and Im not upset at this at all. In fact I just placed an order for one of these 4 mins ago. And as for credibility, I think YOU just lost some credibility and so did for putting up crappy senseless 'wanna-be' sensational articles like this.

Stanley Watson

08/29/2012 02:35 pm

So, Marissa Mayer posted it a few weeks just before leaving to lead Yahoo? Does that not look suspicious?

Joshua Harshbarger

08/29/2012 03:28 pm

If it wasn't for the ad, I would't have known. I am going to be purchasing one or two of these now. I think the ad brings some more color to the homepage. It isn't an adsense ad and isn't random. I like it.


08/29/2012 03:38 pm

Glad it wasn't just me that did a double-take.


08/29/2012 03:52 pm

Meh... it didn't stop me from doing what I wanted so it didn't really bother me. Why is it you never hear people complaining about the ads on


08/29/2012 03:53 pm

By the way... I count 3 Adsense ads on this page.

Ben Brink

08/29/2012 04:05 pm

Your point is silly. Google is a profit making company and it gets to advertise its products. The ad does not hinder search and is not an inconvenience.

Karl Eberhardt

08/29/2012 04:10 pm

I agree they can do whatever the hell they want - as someone who makes my entire living online - I know the love/hate dsyfunctional relationship with G all too well. However I don't agree that "dominant iPad" the apple product is a very tiny part of the market share. the rest of the world is on android platform...this is why apple is worried and why they will soon release a sub $200 tablet...which I believe is a very bad move. They should add greater value to the existing device - rather than sinking to the "low price war" they will not win that one... not against Amazon and Google .

Oleg Korneitchouk

08/29/2012 04:31 pm "iOS (Apple Inc.’s iPad) — 40 million units, 66.6 percent share in 2011; projected 73 million units, 61.4 percent share in 2012" They definitely won't try to compete on price but when your tablet is a $600 premium, it's difficult (but not impossible) to justify the value. Their market share will continue to slip as newer, better, cheaper Android tablets are released.

Drew Pokoj

08/29/2012 07:27 pm

That is exactly the point, nobody typically ever even thought to use another search engine because the process was always so fluid, seamless even. I'm not sure about you but that bouncing iPad-looking device made me double take and second guess what was "really going on here" before my search.


08/29/2012 11:01 pm

link bait

Mark Tillison

08/29/2012 11:23 pm

Oh boo hoo. Who actually sees that Google home page anyway? Most search in the browser bar, right?

Dr. Peter J. Meyers

08/29/2012 11:27 pm

"No truth"? Let's see: Truth #1: Google made a public statement, #2: Google posted a very public ad: #3: The statement and ad conflicted. Google has been very vocal about the negative impact of aggressive advertising on usability, has publicly stated that they won't pollute their home-page with ads, and now that it suits them, they've gone and done exactly that. I think calling out the hypocrisy of that action is completely legitimate. Even if you don't think it's a big deal, Barry still told the truth.

Barry Schwartz

08/29/2012 11:48 pm

I know you are trying to just push my buttons. :) Read why we cover what we cover in our "submit a thread" link above or below. We cover what people are complaining about in the forums, not the "news." And Peter has some great points. :)


08/30/2012 03:09 am

Dr Loser, Google pollutes their results pages with mostly ads, what's the difference?

Barry Schwartz

08/30/2012 03:11 am

Name calling? Really?


08/30/2012 08:39 am

He said Marissa left few weeks ago but I believe she made that comment a long time ago.


08/30/2012 08:42 am

In the end I believe it will come back to bite them on the ass. Any time you diminish the user experience the users vote with their feet. Not only with this ad but with all the sneaky stuff they have been doing this year.

Webstats Art

08/31/2012 02:53 am

When someone is powerful and devious, they will often do something wrong - just to see who follows them. They want to see what kind of power they have, even if they do the dirty! After that, they will know who supports them no matter what they do. Well done Barry. Your site is a bit more interesting these days.


08/31/2012 05:59 pm

Actually, it was pretty darn discreet - I'm so used to their doodles and randomness that it didn't even register as an ad on my consciousness. I saw it in my peripheral vision, but didn't really "notice" it until after I saw an article about it - and was all "What?!? Was THAT was that thing was on the Google page?

Thomas Wright

09/04/2012 06:18 am

I'm just incredibly amused by the complete nonsense the author of this article spews out towards the end. "Google users are upset by it..." How many users? Is it a majority? Where is this data coming from? For all we know it's really just Barry and one of his confidantes. Following that we get another ridiculously unsupported claim: "I think Google lost some of their credibility." First, why do you think that? If the inference is that a Googler said they wouldn't do something in a blog and then they later did it, then fine, but now offer me some support to show that it actually damaged their credibility. Did their stock go down? Was there an exodus of employees? Did the homepage see less hits during the advertising period? What's the measuring stick? Thanks for pointing out the inconsistencies, and thanks for bringing this information to the public's eye. However in the future please try to stay away from the radically unsupported claims. :/

Nick Cantara

09/05/2012 01:08 pm

Also, who actually types into the search bar and then searches? I search directly from my search bar in Chrome, so I never see the Google homepage unless a ridiculous article is written. Why do these authors of articles write useless bullshit about things that aren't really important?

Michael Butler

10/01/2012 11:09 pm

They're definitely changing their ways a little bit, in order to stay competitive. The issue at hand is not at all that they're displaying ads on their page: as others have said, they can do whatever they want. What's interesting is that what Mayer said years ago cannot be said anymore. Of course it is arguable if this animated ad falls under "crazy, flashy, graphical doodad flying and popping up all over". But think about it, Google is now spearheading mobile and tablet devices, how else are they going to reach consumers about it (besides ads on other sites, YouTube, and TV of course). Perhaps they meant that there would never be ads IF they stayed as a search company.

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